Two injured Oklahomans share cautionary tales about slipping on ice

Two Oklahoma City-area residents are still coping with their injuries after they slipped and fell during the Jan. 20 ice storm.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY rmedley@opubco.com Modified: January 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm •  Published: January 31, 2011

Wendy Pearson and Tom Tuminello were well-versed in workplace safety, but accidents at home left them coping with serious injures after the Jan. 20 ice storm.

Pearson, 43, is an animal control supervisor in Oklahoma City whose job includes helping animal handlers avoid injury.

Tuminello, 49, is an operations specialist for a waste management company. Much of his time is dedicated to keeping employees safe on their truck routes.

Both slipped and fell on the ice at their homes, and Tuminello may have permanently lost the vision in his left eye. Pearson may not be able to return to work for several months, because her ankle was broken in three places.

Emergency workers are warning people to be careful not just when driving during and after the winter storm expected tonight and tomorrow, but also when walking on slippery surfaces. On Jan. 20, Emergency Medical Services Authority crews treated and took to the hospital 64 people who fell on the ice, spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said.

Tuminello had just finished dinner when he stepped out on his backyard deck to put food in his dog's metal bowl. As he bent over to pour the food he slipped on a thin layer of ice he had not even noticed he was standing on. He went down face first, and the edge of the bowl gashed his eye.

“It completely destroyed my left eye,” Tuminello said. “It really did a number on my right eye.”

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